William M. Patterson
The subject of this review holds worthy prestige
among the lading business men of Morristown. A native of Shelby county, Indiana, William M. Patterson
was born December 11, 1860, in Van Buren township, and he early became a tiller of the soil. His mother,
previous to her marriage bore the maiden name of Sarah Timble. The family of this estimable
couple consisted of seven children, William M. being the fourth in order of birth, and the best known.
After the usual discipline in the district schools William M. Patterson spent two years in the Central Normal College, at Danville, following which he engaged in teaching, taking charge of his first school in 1879 and, with the exception of three winter seasons, continuing the work thereafter until 1895, his educational experience being confined to the townships of Van Buren and Hanover, where he achieved an honorable record as a teacher. His efficiency and popularity are indicated by his retention for several successive terms in the same district. Mr. Patterson continued to reside in his native township until 1889, when he changed his place of abode to the township of Hanover. Four years later he was elected Township Trustee and, taking charge of the office in August, 1895, he discharged the duties of the same in an able and eminently creditable manner for a period of five years, giving the people a safe and satisfactory administration. During his incumbency he did much in the way of public improvement, and to him belongs the credit of constructing more miles of gravel roads than any of his predecessors, in addition to which he also erected two modern school buildings, sank three tubular wells, besides lengthening the term of the schools and looking carefully after public property. On entering his office he found a standing debt of a thousand dollars against the township, which in due time he wiped out and at the expiration of his term he turned over the office to his successor with three thousand dollars in the treasury and not a cent of indebtedness, a splendid evidence of the able and judicious manner in which he safe-guarded the interests of the public.
In the year 1890, while engaged in teaching, Mr. Patterson began writing fire insurance, to which he subsequently added real estate, both of which lines he has since conducted with encouraging success, being at this time associated with Charles A. Rigdon, and doing a large and very lucrative business. He is identified with the Foundation Elevator Company, of Fountaintown, in which he owns a third interest, and of which he has been secretary and general manager ever since the company was organized. In this, as in the business to which his attention in the main is devoted, Mr. Patterson displays sound judgment. In his political affiliation he is a Republican and for a number of years has been an influential factor in his party in Shelby county, having served from time to time on the county central committee, besides rendering valuable service in various other capacities.
Being public-spirited Mr. Patterson has done much to improve the town in which he resides, not the least of his efforts in this direction being the platting of what is known as the Patterson-Rigdon Addition, and putting the lots on the market on easy terms. In 1907 he erected a fine modern dwelling in this addition and others having following his commendable example, it bids fair at no distant day, to become one of the most attractive residence portions of the town. To him more perhaps than to any other man are due the recent improvements in Morristown, including the fine graded school buildings, excellent streets and various other enterprises, of which he has been the promoter.
Mr. Patterson was married in the fall of 1889 to Linnie E. Lowe, of Van Buren township, the union resulting in the birth of two children, Iona B. and Benjamin H., both deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Patterson are members of the Methodist Protestant church, and in addition to their activity in religious and charitable work, they move in the best society circles of the community. Fraternally Mr. Patterson belongs to Chillon Lodge, No. 129, Knights of Pythias, at Shelbyville, and to Valley Lodge, No. 627, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, at Morristown. He has attained to high standing in the latter society, having filled all the offices within its gift, besides holding the honorable position of past commander of the Grand Lodge of Indiana. He also holds membership with Morristown Encampment, No. 267, in which he has passed all the chairs and to him now belongs the honorable title of past chief patriarch.
Chadwick's History of Shelby County, Indiana, by Edward H. Chadwick, B.A., assisted by well known local talent, B.F. Bowen & Co, Publishers: Indianapolis, IN, 1909, pages 878-880.